Mobile learning might be just the solution that your organization needs to solve a workforce performance problem. But if you haven’t been introduced to mobile learning, you might not even know it.
Perhaps you have the mistaken idea that mobile learning is miniaturized eLearning. Actually, mobile learning can be in the form of:
- performance support (providing essential knowledge at the moment it is needed)
- productivity and reference apps (completing tasks or looking up terms)
- podcasts (audio learning on-the-go)
- microlearning (small learning snacks)
- and any other type of support that people require while on the move or in the field.
Introduction to Mobile 101
With this article, I hope to provide a better understanding of mobile learning using the knowledge of many smart people who have been writing and sharing their experiences.
What follows is a curated set of mobile learning content from around the web organized in a way to help you think about designing and implementing a mobile initiative. Think of it as a Mobile 101 course.
Lesson 1: Understanding Mobile Learning by Nick Flor
This ATD Research report provides a nice introduction to the topic. Written in 2011, the concepts are solid. The technology may have changed a little.
Lesson 2: 50 Questions to Start Your Mobile Learning Strategy by Mayra Aixa Villar
In this job aid, Mayra presents important questions to answer in order to develop a mobile initiative. The questions are organized by category, such as the mobile audience, context, technical considerations, documentation, design, authoring, security and more.
Lesson 3: Ode to Mobile Performance Support by Allison Rossett
In this article in Learning Solutions Magazine, Allison compares mobile learning with mobile performance support and provides a rationale for using both. There is a good table enabling you to easily compare the two.
Lesson 4: Mobile Learning Decision Path by ADL
The online description of this job aid says it best. “The MLDP is a … decision support job aid, with questions and branching to further questions and to best practices—depending on the answers provided at each step. Two sample projects illustrate how an instructional designer could approach a project using the decision path presented in the MLDP. One example assumes a conversion scenario, from desktop e-learning to mobile learning. The other assumes a performance support scenario, a fast-growing area for mobile learning solutions.”
Lesson 5: 158 Tips on mLearning: From Planning to Implementation edited by Karen Forni (Must register to download)
This report captures the experiences of people in the field who share what they’ve learned in the process of developing and implementing mLearning. A few sample topics include: selling mLearning to stakeholders, designing mLearning, selecting and using mLearning tools and platforms, working with mLearning media and prospering in a multidevice environment.
Lesson 6: Top Bad Practices in Mobile Learning by Michael Trucano
Sometimes we can learn quickly by avoiding the mistakes others have made. This article covers some of the most notable things to avoid when designing mobile learning.
Lesson 7: Case Study: How Mobile Helped Heavy Equipment Operators by Dana Bell
Reading about real world examples of mobile learning can be inspirational. In this case study, mobile apps helped workers more safely operate of heavy equipment.
Lesson 8: Apps @ Work by Jack Morton
The use of existing productivity apps is another way for individuals to learn how to improve performance. This SlideShare presentation shows the potential of mobile apps in the workplace. This is an expanded way of looking at workplace learning.
Lesson 9: QA Test Strategies for Mobile by Mark Simon
This article walks you through the types of testing you will need to do to ensure the mobile experience you design is functional and readable in a multi-device world.
Lsson 10: Calculating the Return of Investment (ROI) on Your Mobile Initiative by Gary Woodill and Chad Udell (Must provide name and email address to download)
And when it’s all over, upper management will want to know the ROI of your efforts. This paper by the authors of Mastering Mobile Learning present a rationale for determining the ROI of mobile learning initiatives and a process for doing this. They also discuss the few studies that are available.
I hope you found Mobile 101 helpful. If you know of articles and reports to add to these lessons, please add them in the Comments below.
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